Greenpeace urges governments to speed up climate negotiations

Monday, September 1, 2008

As the latest round of UN climate talks came to a close today, Greenpeace urged governments to pick up the pace of the negotiations which, in just over a year, must deliver a global deal to save the climate. The meeting, in Accra, Ghana, showed some progress but still lacked the urgency required to meet the 2009 target.

Greenpeace welcomed Korea's announcement to set its own emission reduction target, and the constructive role played by Mexico in building bridges between developing and developed countries. Some small incremental steps forward were made in the areas of reducing emissions from tropical deforestation and, although there was some progress on the question of funding for developing countries, there is still a lack of concrete proposals on how clean technology will be transferred and more detail is needed on how developing countries will be assisted to adapt to climate change.

"Too much time is being wasted arguing about procedural details and restating historical positions and not enough real substance is being put on the table,"said Bill Hare, Director of Climate Policy at Greenpeace International. "This is the third round of talks since the two-year process was launched in Bali last year, and by now the deal that will be agreed at the end of 2009 should be taking shape."

Governments will meet again in Poznan, Poland in December, to continue negotiations. Marking the halfway point between the meeting held in Bali in 2007, and the meeting to be held in Copenhagen in 2009, Poznan should therefore provide a clear milestone for paving the way towards the 2009 Agreement.

"Already, expectations of progress at Poznan are being lowered by some governments, who would prefer to leave everything to the last minute with the excuse that 'this is the nature of international negotiations'," Hare observed. "The fact is, we are already in extraordinary times and we require extraordinary measures now. These talks must move forward rapidly to give the world a chance of avoiding climate catastrophe."